Friday, April 8, 2011


Guest blogger Liz Parker is back from an advance screening of "Arthur", the remake of the very popular 1980's movie staring Dudley Moore.  Is this version as funny as the original or just sad sack remake trash?  Let's read what Liz thinks...

The original "Arthur" movie premiered in 1981, and the 2011 remake follows the same premise: a wealthy bachelor must marry a woman his mother has chosen for him, or he will lose all of his money. I have not seen the original, but this "Arthur" was done very well, and I can't imagine anyone other than Russell Brand being able to play the whimsical and childish main character.

Arthur (Russell Brand, "Hop") lives the ideal life: he doesn't work and he lives off the money from his mother's corporation, in a giant mansion, with his nanny Hobson (Helen Mirren, "Red"), who attends to his every need. When he and his "butler" of sorts, Bitterman (Luis Guzman, "The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3), crash his Batmobile, however, his mother Vivienne (Geraldine James, "Alice in Wonderland") gives him some bad news: no one wants to invest in the company anymore because of his unsavory reputation. She proposes a solution: Arthur will marry Susan (Jennifer Garner, "Valentine's Day"), one of her most valuable employees, who will then run the company. If Arthur declines to marry her, he will be penniless, as she will take away his fortune. Arthur is fine with this, until he meets Naomi (Greta Gerwig, "No Strings Attached"), and finds himself falling in love with her. He will soon have to choose if he wants to be with the love of his life and be poor or marry Susan and be unhappy forever.

I was not a huge fan of Russell Brand's before seeing this movie - I didn't like "Get Him to the Greek" at all - but I believe that he was the best choice for the role. He manages to play Arthur as being both naive and kind, and there are not many other actors out there that I think could have pulled this off. Helen Mirren is great as his nanny, who has been with the family since he was a baby, and Gerwig plays a convincing Naomi, who sees the good in Arthur even though she knows he is rich as well. Jennifer Garner plays kind of a "mean girl" in this movie as the ruthless Susan, which was fun to see, as it's not a role that she usually plays (see: "13 Going on 30," "Valentine's Day", etc.).

Yes, see this movie. The funniest moments are in the beginning, but there were enough sprinkled through the rest of the film so that it was still entertaining. The cast works well together and Brand is fantastic in the title role. This is one of the first movies of 2011 I've seen, perhaps with the exception of "Easy A," in which I was laughing at most of the jokes, and comedic films like these are rare to find in theaters nowadays.

"Arthur" is in theaters today, April 1st.

Liz Parker is a 2009 graduate of the University of Michigan. She currently works as an Assistant Medical Editor for a pathology website. Visit her at her movie blog Yes/No Films
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